Three Family-Friendly Adventures to Try This Fall
From fishing to four-wheeling, these adventures are more accessible than you might think
Odds are you've spent more time with your family this year than ever before, which is great. But if you're like us, you might be looking for more fun stuff to do together. So we teamed up with Honda Talon, the ultimate family adventure rig, to create The Family Guide to Getting Outside—in an-depth and interactive article full of everything from easy-to-pull-off weeknight escapes to epic week-long road trips. Check out all of our helpful tricks and tips at the link below or read on for some activity-specific advice sure to get you and your family moving outside and enjoying the rest of the fall.
Car camping and RVing might be the official vacation of the pandemic. Turns out, spending a couple of nights surrounding a campfire is exactly the distraction we need right now. Of course, COVID-19 restrictions mean that some public campgrounds are closed, while others are booked solid every weekend, making it the perfect opportunity to try dispersed camping, where you pitch a tent on primitive campsites that are accessible by vehicle (sometimes requiring a 4WD) on Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management land. Some dispersed sites will have designated tent pads, fire rings, and picnic tables, but many will just be open spots between the trees. The thing to remember with dispersed camping is you’re on your own: there are no restrooms, electricity, or water hookups. Another option is to head over to HipCamp, an online directory of private land that’s open to camping, where you’ll find everything from yurts and cabins to treehouses and simple campsites on which to pitch your tent.
Whether you opt for public land or a privately owned site, try to find a spot near water, which might allow you to fish or swim, or in the nexus of a variety of trails so your family will be entertained. Wherever you go, the Talon will help turn your car camping site into a true base camp. You can leave your main vehicle and camping gear at the site and explore the surrounding area, allowing you to access rivers and trailheads with ease.
From the prehistoric-looking alligator gar to the ubiquitous smallmouth bass, there are dozens of popular freshwater fish native to the United States. But reeling in a fish is just a tiny part of why fishing is such a valued activity. The true joy of fishing is using the rod as an excuse to spend time outdoors together as a family, especially now as we all seek fun and solitude in the outdoors. If you’re new to fishing, you can find inexpensive spinning rod combos, which come with both the rod and reel and are easy for beginners to use. Just get one or two for the whole family to share at first—you can always expand your gear arsenal later. Take Me Fishing has current info on state regulations, which are constantly evolving under pandemic guidelines.
Looking for a bit more assistance? Many fishing guides are still operating safe trips to local waters, but you can also find information on local fisheries on Fishbrain, a website and app that uses crowdsourcing to offer incredible detail on local fishing holes. And, like paddling, fishing is an ideal low-risk, pandemic-friendly adventure, as proper fishing etiquette already dictates you give other anglers plenty of space. The Talon is a great way to access the river or lake explore the land surrounding a body of water. Pack it with snacks, drinks, chairs, and blankets and move from one spot to the next until you find the perfect fishing hole.
The term “off-roading” means different things to different people. For some, off-roading is rock crawling, deep in the desert. For others, it’s a mellow cruise on easy dirt just outside of town. Whatever your style, the first thing to do is find roads and OHV (off-highway vehicle) areas you can legally and responsibly ride. To do so, check your local government website for OHV laws and regulations or head over to the Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association, which has tons of resources like basic off-road driver courses and tips for minimizing your impact.
As you’ll quickly find, a whole new world awaits exploration in your Honda Talon, as there are literally hundreds of thousands of miles of dirt and gravel roads traversing our national forest and BLM lands. Translation: just a bit of research will allow you to eschew the common destinations and find your own slice of forest or desert. Where to start? OnX Offroad is a new app that gives you details on off-road routes all over the United States and assigns each road a difficulty rating. It also works offline, so it’s handy even if there is no cell service. Drive within your skill set (if you’re new to off-roading, stick to dry ground and established trails), and keep in mind that off-roading is the perfect “add-on” adventure, something that works seamlessly with other activities like fishing and hiking. And, of course, before you head out, remember to wear protective gear and review safety guidelines.